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"We do not need refugee camps. We need weapons, RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades) and anti-aircraft rockets to fight Bashar," said Mohammed Hariri, 51, of Daraa, the cradle of the revolt that erupted 18 months ago.
Use the Simple Past to express an action started and finished at a specific time in the past.
Why "past tensed" is used while revolt still exist in Syria?
The eruption/start/outbreak was 18 months ago.